The Department of Music at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will present the Vesper Choir in the 66th annual performance of George Frederic Handel’s Messiah. The performance will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in the John McLinn Ross Theatre of the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Building at UAPB. The event is free and open to the public.


The Vesper Choir will be assisted by members of the UAPB Concert Bands and Wind Symphony along with guest string and woodwind players from the Central Arkansas and Memphis areas. This annual event marks the beginning of the Christmas celebration at UAPB, according to a news release.


Jerron A. Liddell, director of the Vesper Choir, will conduct his second performance as the fourth director in the choir’s 70 year history. Liddell is a UAPB and Vesper Choir alumnus who has served as featured soloist, guest conductor, and music assistant.


John Graham Jr., director of bands, will serve as assistant conductor for the performance. Liddell will also be assisted by Andee Book, voice instructor and assistant director of the Vesper Choir, and Julia Buckingham, accompanist and adjunct instructor.


Guest alumni soloists will be Leon Walker, tenor, Kansas City, Mo.; Duane Jackson, bass, choral director in the Pine Bluff School District; Mary Rowe, soprano, Dermott; and Ricky Wade, baritone, Little Rock.


Featured student soloists include Daniel Johnson Jr., tenor, McDonough, Ga.; Kevin Crumpton Jr., tenor, Pine Bluff; Lauren Henderson, alto, Greenville, Miss.; and Gregory White, baritone, Kansas City, Mo. Demarr Woods, assistant professor of high brass and music theory, will be the featured trumpet soloist.


Details: UAPB Department of Music, 870-575-7001.